Korean skin care and in particular, the 10 step Korean skin care routine has become quite popular over the last couple of years and there’s a good reason why – it works.
The first time I heard about the 10 step Korean skin care routine was one morning while I was flipping through the TV channels. A beauty editor had tried it for 2 weeks and noticed a dramatic difference in her skin. There were two words that turned me off, though – TEN STEPS. I could barely commit to the few steps I was already taking on and the only ten steps I could handle were the ten from my bathroom to my bed.
I quickly forgot about it and then it’s like it started taunting me. I saw it everywhere – magazines, Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, TV, etc, etc, etc. And since writing about beauty and trying out different beauty products and routines is a big part of my life, I caved and decided to try it.
I committed to trying it for two weeks and also asked my daughter if she wanted to do it with me – and she did. She’s been having some skin issues that have been driving her crazy since moving off to college and since she was home for a month for the holidays, it was the perfect time for us to do it together.
(Keep reading until the end to see a picture of me without a stitch of makeup on. Eek!)
The 10 Step Korean Skin Care Routine
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Here are the 10 steps of the Korean skin care routine:
The Korean Skin Care Routine is all about double cleansing and layering. Double cleansing is washing your face twice to get a deep clean and really prep the skin for the products you’re about to layer on. When reading up on this skin care routine, experts were saying for those with acne, double cleansing is the key they believe to clearer skin. Spoiler alert: my daughter’s results are proof of that.
Step 1: Makeup Remover & Oil Cleanser: This step gets rid of makeup, dirt, and impurities on the skin that gets built up during the day. An oil based cleanser is the perfect formula to break those down and remove it. This step is done every night.
Step 2: Foaming Cleanser: A foaming water-based cleanser is your next step. This will wash away the residue from the oil-based cleanser and any other residue left behind. This step is done day and night.
Step 3: Exfoliate: This step polishes your skin, sloughing off dead skin cells. This step is done twice a week at night.
Step 4: Tone: A toner helps balance your skin’s pH levels, as well as preps your skin to better absorb your moisturizer and other products. This is all part of the layering process of the routine. The better moisturized your skin is, the better it can absorb. This step is done day and night.
Step 5: Essence: Everyone is calling this the “heart of the Korean skin care routine” and what it’s known best for. Essence is a toner and a serum that helps hydrate and repair skin. This step is done at night.
Step 6: Serum: This step is a serum you can use to treat any skin issue you’re having or something you’re wanting help with. Whether that’s anti-aging, skin brightening, an acne treatment, etc. This step can be done both day and night, depending on the product you’re using.
Step 7: Sheet Masks: A sheet mask is self-explanatory. It’s a thin white paper sheet you put on your face for 15-20 minutes, relax and let it nourish your skin. This step is done at night, once or twice a week.
Step 8: Eye Cream: The skin around your eye area is very delicate and should be treated as so. Apply the eye cream with your ring finger very gently, tapping the cream around the entire eye. This step is done both day and night.
Step 9: Moisturize: Find a moisturizer that works for your skin type and pat it all over both your face and neck. This step is done both day and night.
Step 10: Sunscreen: This is a crucial step before stepping out of your house every morning. This step is done every day.
As you can see, although it’s called the 10 step routine, not all 10 steps are done every night. Some are twice a week, some are just at night and some are only during the day. The first night I did the routine, I was pretty overwhelmed and it took me awhile, but after I got the hang of it, on nights I wasn’t doing the sheets masks, I was in and out in 15 minutes. On nights I was doing the sheet masks, I looked forward to it. (My family hated those nights though because seeing me in a sheet mask was, and I quote, “absolutely terrifying.”)
The first night I did the routine, I was pretty overwhelmed and it took me awhile, but after I got the hang of it, on nights I wasn’t doing the sheets masks, I was in and out in 15 minutes. On nights I was doing the sheet masks, I looked forward to it. (My family hated those nights though because seeing me in a sheet mask was, and I quote, “absolutely terrifying.”)
Here are some of the best Korean skin care products recommended for the routine.
Korean Skin Care Products
Step 1 Makeup Remover & Oil Cleansing Product Recommendations:
Step 2 Foaming Cleanser Product Recommendations:
Step 3 Exfoliation Product Recommendations:
Step 4 Toner Product Recommendations:
Step 5 Essence Product Recommendations:
Step 6 Serum Product Recommendations:
Step 7 Sheet Masks Product Recommendations:
Step 8 Eye Cream Product Recommendations:
Step 9 Moisturize Product Recommendations:
Step 10 Sunscreen Product Recommendations:
Both my daughter and I committed to trying the 10 step Korean skin care routine for two weeks to see if it helped the skin issues we were having. I struggle with major dryness, rosacea, and uneven skin tone and she deals with acne and combination skin – dry in some areas and oily in others.
We cheated a little because instead of spending money on all of the Korean skin products, we decided to take the basic gist of the routine and use similar products we either had already or could purchase at our local stores. Neither one of us wanted to spend a fortune on skin care products at the time and we didn’t want to wait for it to be shipped to us. We just wanted to get started.
We both started noticing a difference after only a few days. My daughter’s skin started instantly clearing up. She walked into the kitchen one morning and I asked if she was wearing makeup, which would have been weird because she just woke up and she said “nope!” But it looked like she was. We both are convinced the double cleansing is what has had such a huge impact on her skin.
I started noticing the redness in my cheeks going away within about three days, which for me is a really (really) big deal. The tone is also different and it’s so incredibly soft I can’t even believe it. Now, I used to never leave the house without foundation on. If I did, I was a blotchy mess and no one needed to see that. I’m happy to say I’ve gone out several times with just a light dusting of powder, mascara, and some lip gloss. Can you even imagine how amazing that feels?!
Here’s a selfie of me completely makeup free! I haven’t even fixed my hair today. But I just wanted to show you how confident I feel and how it’s transformed my skin. For me to post a picture of myself on the world wide web makeup free is kind of a big deal. I’ve always been self-conscious of how I look au naturale.
Our results and findings? It works and we’ve been continuing the 10-step system after our experiment was over. My daughter is back in college and she’s still double cleansing away. And I’m still terrifying the men in my home with my sheet masks.
There are a few Korean Skin Care Products I’m planning on purchasing now that I’ve got the hang of this 10 step process. I’m definitely purchasing some of the Sheet Masks, the Essence (which is so popular it’s always out of stock it seems), Collagen Eye Cream and Night Repair Serum.
Are you ready to try the 10 step Korean skin care routine? I hope I’ve given you some good information to help you understand it and get started if you’re interested.
Source: Soko Glam